We often think of candles, music, or wine as being essential when setting the table for a romantic evening, but what you serve can have a big impact too. Research has proven that some of the delicious foods we associate with romance do, in fact, have an ... ahem .... stimulating effect. Check out these seven delicious options for the next time you want to put seduction on your menu.
These lovely mollusks are often at the top of the list when it comes to aphrodisiac foods, and for good reason. Not only are they more than a little suggestive looking, they’re ridiculously delicious plus they’re loaded with zinc and amino acids which boost production of testosterone and other sex hormones.
How to serve: shuck ‘em and slurp em. See shucking tips (with photos) below!
This family-favourite fruit has a steamy side too; it also contains phytonutrients including lycopene that cause circulation to improve and blood vessels to relax. So yeah, it helps get that party started.
How to serve: Puree fruit and mix with sparkling wine or soda water for a delicious cocktail with a romantic pink hue. Cue the accompanying music and your evening is off to a perfect start.
Rich in capsaicin, hot peppers increase circulation and help stimulate nerve endings. Wouldn’t you like your body to be more receptive to your partner’s gentle caresses? Chili peppers also stimulate endorphins, speed up heart rate and make you sweat, which sounds a whole lot like being aroused.
How to serve: Simmer whole chilies in a soup, stew or sauce then remove them before dishing it up. You’ll get a subtle kick of heat this way. For more intense flavour, split the chilies in half lengthwise before adding, allowing seeds and inner membrane’s fiery heat to … ummm… penetrate your dish.
This fruit is often called the Love Apple for good reason. Luscious pomegranate arils (yup, that’s what those ruby-red seeds are actually called) are packed with antioxidants which support blood flow, leading to increased touch receptiveness in your most sensitive areas. As a plus, pomegranate-stained lips are ridiculously kissable.
How to serve: Scatter pomegranate seeds over lightly-dressed greens. If you make your salad with arugula, you’ll get a double-whammy of aphrodisiacal magic because arugula, a recognized superfood just like pomegranate, contains minerals and antioxidants which help block environmental contaminants which can negatively affect one’s libido.
Even the ancient Aztecs knew the romantic power of this delicious fruit. Loaded with Vitamin E, avocadoes increase production of key sex drive hormones including testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.
How to serve: Take a tin of those cute little baby shrimp. Mix in a tablespoon of mayonnaise, a big squeeze of fresh lime juice, a dash each of salt, pepper and curry powder then spoon the mixture into two halves of an avocado (pit removed, of course). You’ll have the sexiest, tastiest avocado boats ever.
Rumoured to be Cleopatra’s favourite fruit, figs are associated with sexuality in almost every culture. Curiously, they are also an interesting paradox as an aphrodisiac: their leaves are associated with modesty (hello, Adam and Eve) while their many seeds are said to represent fertility. Like avocadoes, their shape is considered erotic and to top things off, they’re full of goodness including potassium, flavonoids and antioxidants.
How to serve: Split fresh figs in half or quarters and drizzle them with honey (yes, the word honeymoon really does relate to honey) which provides a natural energy boost. Feeding the segments by hand to each other would be a nice added touch.
Cocoa naturally contains two amazing substances: phenylethylamine, a stimulant that the brain releases when we fall in love; and tryptophan, which helps produce serotonin, known for producing sensations of calmness and well-being. The natural outcome of chocolate consumption is elevated moods and arousal, the perfect precursor to some after dinner excitement.
How to serve: there’s nothing sexier than dipping ripe strawberries into molten chocolate and feeding them to your significant other. Nothing.
Only shuck oysters that are tightly closed, have no strong fishy aroma and whose shells are unbroken.
Grip the oyster, flat side up, in one hand, using a damp cloth or flat silicone lid gripper to hold it tightly.
Holding an oyster knife (they’re less than $5) or paring knife in the other hand, insert the tip into the hinge of the oyster shell at the skinny end. Push to pop it in, then twist the blade of the knife slightly to pry the shell open.
Slide the blade along the shell to open it fully.
Use the tip of the knife to detach the muscle (this is the part you’ll be eating) from the top shell and discard the top shell. Then run the knife around the muscle on the bottom shell to detach it so it’s ready for slurping. Try to retain the liquid – called liquor – in the bottom shell because it’s really delicious and adds a nice salty tang to the oyster.
Lay the shucked oysters out on a platter filled with clean snow or crushed ice. This keeps them super cold before you eat them which is good for food safety and also makes them taste better. Many people enjoy eating oysters plain but you might want to offer some of the following condiments, all of which can enhance the oyster experience: a drop of Tabasco, a squeeze of lemon or lime juice, a drop or two of scotch or vodka.